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BOCAS DEL TORO :: BOQUETE :: GAMBOA RAINFOREST :: PACIFIC COAST :: PANAMA CITY :: SAN BLAS ISLANDS
Ecotourism and natural environments define Bocas del Toro, a Caribbean archipelago with lush rainforests, lowland forests, coral reefs in crystal-clear waters, abundant flora and fauna, mangroves, lagoons, and sunny beaches. Life here is calm, and the people are friendly and exude warmth. Activities include scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, bird watching, rainforest trekking, and relaxing on the beach. There are also indigenous Indian communities, where visitors can meet the locals and purchase handicrafts.
Known as the "Valley of the Flowers and Eternal Spring," Boquete is a small town on the Caldera River near the Costa Rica border. With a comfortable year-round climate, Boquete is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts looking to hike, take a zipline tour through the cloud forest's canopy, go horseback riding, and more. Birders love it here, as there are diverse habitats and hundreds of species of birds, including the rare resplendent quetzal. Boquete's coffee ranks among the best in the world, and coffee plantation tours are available. Baru Volcano, the tallest point in Panama, is nearby.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Boquete, Panama. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Boquete and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Boquete insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Spend your time amidst the trees across 12 platforms stretching over mountains, valleys, rivers, and all the beauty of the jungle. Boquete offers particularly impressive flora and fauna and the zip line that follows is one of the highest and longest zip lines in Central America. A great way to spend the day!
An unexpected treasure in the heart of Boquete is the new library. Almost completely enclosed in glass windows, it offers a great selection of books, comfortable chairs, and fantastic art exhibits. This new building is a great source of pride for the local community and well worth a visit.
If you’re up for a good hike, the Lost Waterfalls trail will take you up the mountain to view three different waterfalls. It’s a decent trek so you’ll want to make sure you’re in good shape for it but it’s absolutely worth it, and you can feel free to take the hike slowly as you’ll want to be sure to stop and take in the scenery and the wild butterflies along the way.
This fantastic sanctuary is an inspired project just outside of Boquete. They take in volunteers to learn about the wildlife, how to care for them, and the importance of protecting the environment here. You’ll get in some great trekking, views all the way out to the Pacific on clear days, and a wealth of education from the friendly and knowledgeable staff. This is a life-changing kind of visit if you love nature and care about protecting its precious state.
Located 30 minutes from Panama City, Gamboa Rainforest Resort is within Soberania National Park on the banks of the Chagres River and Panama Canal—an oasis away from the city. Activities include monkey tours to find hidden islands where capuchin and howler monkeys can be seen in the trees; bird-watching tours that go to an area with a documented bird list of more than 400 species; and aerial tram rides to see the rainforest from above—the way the monkeys and birds do. Other activities include kayaking the waters of the Panama Canal, resting by the hotel's pool, or relaxing in the spa.
Within a short drive from Panama City are a series of beaches along the Pacific Coast. Nestled between lush tropical forests and white-sand beaches, this area is a popular place for vacationers as well as wealthy Panamanians looking for a weekend retreat. Adventure-seekers have an opportunity to kayak in the sapphire-blue waters of the Pacific, go white-water rafting, surf, or dive. For those who want to just relax and take it easy, the all-inclusive resorts give guests the opportunity to unwind by the pool or rejuvenate at the spa.
Located between the Pacific Ocean and tropical rainforest, Panama City was built in 1519 by Pedro Arias de Avila, a Spanish conquistador who made it his base for plundering Peru's riches. Today, Panama offers diverse natural wonders, a melting-pot of ethnicities and cultures, and historical as well as modern cityscapes. Of particular interest is Casco Antiguo, the oldest sector of modern Panama—with its restored colonial buildings, 17th century churches, and historical monuments. Of course, the Panama Canal, one of the most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, is also a popular attraction.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Panama City, Panama. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Panama City and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Panama City insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
I have worked as a guide with Gamboa Tours for over 8 years and my focus is on historical and ecological tours in Panama. I love guiding new people as they experience Panama for the first time. I am fluent in Spanish and English and particularly skilled at tours involving Panama’s colonial history, the Panama Canal, Miraflores, and Gatun Locks, as well as the Chagres River and Embera villages.
Dazzling views of Panama City's skyline and of the Panama Canal make the Amador Causeway a scenic must. The stretch unites four small islands. It also serves a functional purpose as a breakwater to the entrance of the Canal. Swept by sea breezes, there are bike paths, restaurants, shops, a cruise port, and a yacht marina. You can glimpse the Panama Canal and ships passing under the Bridge of the Americas, once the only strip that connected North and South America.
There's no better way to see Panama's past, present and future than to take a hike up Ancon Hill where you'll have a bird-eye's view of Casco Viejo, modern Panama City and the Panama Canal. The path is lined by thriving rainforest. It’s best to explore it in the morning to avoid afternoon heat and rain showers. It takes about 2 hours to get to the top, but you can get there by taxi if you choose.
Journey to the first inhabited section of Panama City, Panama Viejó, to find the ruins of the oldest capital in the Americas. Originally the site of an indigenous village, Panama Viejó was occupied by the Spanish in 1519 and was named the first city in the Americas by the King of Spain in 1521. In 1671, the city was plundered by pirates and burned to the ground. Explore the ancient ruins and take in beautiful views of Modern Panama from here.
Panama’s native handicrafts rival Mexico’s and most other Latin countries in beauty and creativity. Make sure to take time to shop and bring back an item or two that can’t be mistaken for anything other than authentic Panamanian art!
If you can manage to get outside the city for an afternoon, the serenity and the incomparable views at this peaceful temple are well worth a little jaunt. From the city, it looks like an egg on top of the hill, but when you get up there, you can see the impressive views of green and the wilderness of Panama, as well as views of the city out to the coast.
The San Blas Islands, known locally as Kuna Yala, encompass over 365 islands governed by the Kuna Indians. Although the San Blas Islands are a popular place for visitors, the Kuna Indians have preserved their simple ways, culture, economy, language, and customs—demonstrating how an indigenous culture can survive surrounded by the modern world. The islands themselves offer spectacular reefs, turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and native Kuna villages. Activities include snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, interacting with and learning about the Kuna Indians, or just relaxing on the beautiful beaches.
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